Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rev3 Half Iron Tracey's Race Recap: Part II

Enjoy Part II of Tracey's race recap!  


Race day morning, I woke up before my alarm clock at about 5:45. I wasnʼt planning on leaving the hotel room until 6:45, so I checked FB to see about the swim start. Sure enough, it was moved because of a riptide warning. So, I got up, made my oatmeal and ate in the bathroom of all places (I didnʼt want to wake up Nate and the kids) and got ready for the day. All of my gear was packed in the tri bag, so I just had to get dressed. I left the room at 6:45 and headed over to the transition area which was about a half mile walk down the beach. 



As I walked along the beach, the wind was whipping and the water looked like it was getting rough. When I saw that, I was relieved the swim had been moved. Along my way, I met a guy from Toronto who was also doing this race for the first time and we chatted the whole walk down the beach which really helped to settle my nerves. When I got to the transition area, I went ahead getting all of my gear set up for the day. I had to decide whether I wanted to take my sneakers with me to the swim since the new swim start and finish were a good half mile from the transition area. I ended up wearing them over, which was a good choice.



The Swim

I headed over to the swim start and found a spot to get my wetsuit on which was a process in itself! After that, I walked over to look for my friends and family and saw Charlene and Susan walking towards me. I was so excited to see them! 



Then my husband and kids showed up and we posed for some pictures. 



I walked over to drop my sneakers off in the pile (they were in groups of 50 numbers) so I could put them on when I got out of the water. From walking over, I knew the run to the bike was all pavement and I could not even think about doing that in bare feet! I went back over to say bye one last time to everyone and then lined up with all of the other lavender swim caps (40-44 Female age group).


Since we were starting off of a boat dock, they had us go by twos every 2-3 seconds. I got in the water, expecting it to be cold and it really was not that bad (I heard it was 72 degrees). I started to swim, looking up to wave to Susan and Charlene and my family and then I was off. 



The swim itself was good. It had been moved into the boat marina, so it was still in the lake, but it was more sheltered from the wind. We had to swim around an island and I really wasnʼt too sure how far the buoys were because you couldnʼt see them from the start. I did getting bumped into a few times (especially by the men who had started earlier and could not swim straight), but overall, it was a very uneventful swim. I remember rounding the last corner and seeing the blue banner and realizing I was almost done. It really went by quickly.

1.2 mile swim (Goal time- 45 minutes)
Actual Time: 40:33 15/45 in my age group and 68/246 total females


Transition 1 (Swim to Bike)


This transition started as soon as I got out of the water. There were wetsuit strippers, which was awesome! I sat down and a volunteer pulled it right off of me. Then I had to get my sneakers on, run half a mile carrying my wetsuit and get all of my bike gear on. I did stop to use the bathroom before I got on the bike.
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T1 time- 9:10 (I would like to believe that if the swim was not moved, my transition time would have been a lot faster, but it is what it is!)

Bike

I headed out on the bike course and immediately saw Susan, Charlene, and my family. They were all cheering loudly for me. It really made me smile. 



The first 20 miles of the bike were great- I was seeing numbers I never see on my bike! (I am not the fastest biker, so anything over 15 mph and I feel like a champ.) Then mile 20 came and the headwind was just insane. I felt like I was cycling into a brick wall. Miles 20-30 were awful for me, but I just keep thinking to myself that I had to get to mile 40 to see my friends and family. Sure enough, before I knew it, there they were. I saw my daughter, Megan, running to the corner just as I was coming up one of the few hills. I yelled her name and then everyone saw me. I only saw them for less than a minute, but it gave me the strength to finish. 


I have to say that the last 8-10 miles were pure torture. The wind was so bad that I felt like I was riding sideways. I was so relieved to get off of my bike.



Nutrition on bike- three Quaker Peanut Butter/Chocolate Chip granola bars. I drank at least 40+ ounces of water.

56 mile bike (Goal time- 3:30)
Time: 3:12 17.43 mph 20/45 in my age group and 110/246 total females


Transition 2 (Bike to Run)

I walked my bike into the transition area, changed my shoes, put on my hat and Garmin and then took off for the half marathon.

T2 time: 3:10

Run

The run started out great. I felt strong and I knew I would be able to finish. I stopped at mile 1.5 to use the bathroom and then I saw my family and friends at mile 2. I stopped to kiss and hug my kids and it was such a wonderful moment.



Susan shouted that she and Charlene would be in that spot when I came back and I was so happy to hear that. The first half of the run was good. I felt good, felt like I was passing a lot of people and my watch kept beeping sub 9 min miles. I felt that way until about mile 9. When I got to mile 9.5, I just wanted to be done. I was hot, my legs were tired and I was so scared that my calves were going to cramp up. I knew I needed to get to mile 11 to see Susan and Charlene. I stopped every mile at the water stations to drink water and Gatorade.  I finally made it to mile 11 and saw my friends. 


Seeing them made me so happy! I told them this was the hardest thing I had ever done. They said I was doing great and they would see me at the finish. I kept running and of course, the only hill on the course is between mile 11-12. Charlene and Susan drove by honking the horn and waving and I knew I was almost there. I had to walk twice during this mile for 10 seconds each time. Then I told myself to suck it up and finish. Thatʼs what I did. I finally came around the last corner and saw my kids. 


They were able to run through the finisherʼs chute with me. It really was one of the greatest moments of my life when I crossed that finish line. 


I immediately saw Susan and Charlene and Nate. He hugged me and I was crying. He said, “You did it!”. I couldnʼt stop crying. I still cry when I think of that moment.page2image29600

Nutrition on run- about 10 gummy bears and a lot of water and some lemon lime Gatorade.

13.1 mile run (Goal time-2:00) 1:59

Total time: (Goal time 6:30)
6:04:49 13/45 in my age group and 82/246 women


Overall, my experience with my first 70.3 was awesome. Yes, it could have been less windy, and yes, the swim could have remained the same, but things happen and you have to be able to deal with them. Rev3 did an awesome job having an alternate plan. The volunteer support on the course was unbelievable- aid stations on the bike every 10-12 miles and on the run every mile. And the fact that that my kids could finish with me was priceless. I would do a Rev3 race event again in a heartbeat.
Of course, I never would have been able to do this without the support of my husband, Nate. He was so supportive of my goal. My friends were really supportive also. I got so many calls, texts, and FB messages wishing me luck and congratulating me after. I am truly blessed.

If you read this all the way through, thank you. Sorry it is so long. I usually donʼt talk this much about myself, but this race was so important to me. I worked so hard to reach my goal. I hope it will inspire some of you to attempt reaching yours.



Whatʼs next? I may see a 140.6 in my future. Maybe for my 50th birthday. And only if Susan joins me! 



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